LLIS Innovative Practice: Mass Care: Tracking Animals During the Black Forest Wildfire   [open pdf - 92KB]

"During the 2013 Black Forest Wildfire in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) successfully utilized existing technology to develop a system that tracked and reunited evacuated animals with their owners. On June 11, 2013, the Black Forest Wildfire in El Paso County, Colorado, forced the mandatory evacuation of 500 homes, making it the single most destructive fire in Colorado history in terms of residential properties lost. Animal evacuation and reunification in such situations usually presents considerable logistical and organizational challenges. El Paso County and CDPHE adapted a patient tracking system designed for the Veteran's Administration (VA) to assist with tracking rescued animals. […] El Paso County and CDPHE successfully used the system to track rescued animals throughout the entire event, including back and forth between El Paso and Elbert Counties as the fire moved, and then reunite them with their respective owners during the disaster. Moving forward, CDPHE intends to make minor modifications to this existing system and proposes sharing this resource with local jurisdictions."

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